Resistance Is Possible: Excerpts From An Interview With Two Anonymous Members Of The Red Zora

(Editors note: This was first published in June of 1984 in the German women’s magazine, Emma, and was the first interview where active members of the Red Zora explain why they struggle autonomously inside the RZ’s and the nature of their relationship to the wimmins movement)

Interviewer: Let’s start with who you are.

Zora 1: If this is a personal question then we are women between the ages of 20 and 51. Some of us sell our labour, some of us take what we need, and others are “parasites” on the welfare state. Some have children, some don’t. We buy in disgusting supermarkets, we live in ugly houses, we like going for walks or to the cinema, the theatre, or the disco. We have parties and cultivate idleness. And of course we live with the contradiction that many things we want to do can’t be done spontaneously. But after successful actions we have great fun!

Interviewer: What does your name mean?

Zora 2: “The Red Zora and Her Gang” is a children’s book about a wild street kid who steals from the rich to give to the poor. Until today it seemed to be a male privilege to build gangs or to act outside the law. Yet particularly because girls and women are strangled by thousands of personal and political chains this should make us masses of “bandits” fighting for our freedom, our dignity, and our humanity. Law and order are fundamentally against us, even if we have hardly achieved any rights and have to fight for them daily. Radical women’s struggles and loyalty to the law — there is no way they go together!

Interviewer: Yet it is no coincidence that your name has the same first letters as the revolutionary Cells (RZ):

Zora 1: No, of course not. Rote Zora expresses the fact that we have the same principles as the RZ’s, the same concept of building illegal structures and a network which is not controlled by the state apparatus. This is so we can carry out our subversive direct actions — in connection with the open legal struggles of various movements. “We Strike Back” — This slogan of the women of May 1968 is no longer as controversial today regarding individual violence against women. But it is still very controversial, and most of the time taboo as an answer to the power conditions that steadily produce this violence. The women of RZ started in 1974 with the bombing of the Supreme Court in Karlsruhe because we wanted the total abolishment of 218 (the abortion law). Then followed the bombing against Schering during it’s Duogynon trial, and constant attacks against sex shops. Actually, one of these porno stores should burn or be devastated every day! Therefore we think it absolutely necessary to tear the oppression of women as sexual objects and producers of children out of the “private domain” and to show our anger and hate with fire and flames.

Interviewer: Do you understand yourselves as being part of the women’s movement, or of the guerrilla movement, or both and how do you see the context?

Zora 1: We are part of the women’s movement. We struggle for women’s liberation. Besides theoretical commonalities there also exists another unity between our practice and the legal women’s movement, that is the personal radicalization which can encourage other women to resist and take themselves and the struggle seriously. It is the feeling of strength if you see that you can do things which before you were afraid of, and if you see that it brings about something. We would like to share this experience. We don’t think it has to happen in the forms we choose. For example, take the women who disrupted a peep show by drawing women’s symbols and dropping stink bombs — these actions encourage us, strengthen us, and we hope women feel the same way about our actions. Our dream is that everywhere small bands of women will exist, that in every city a rapist, a women trader, a battering husband, a misogynist publisher, a porn trader, a pig gynecologist should have to feel that a band of women will find them to attack them and make them look silly in public. For example, that it will be written on his house who he is and what he did, on his car, at his job — women’s power everywhere! It requires a continuous movement whose aims cannot be integrated, whose uncompromising section cannot be forced into legal reforms, whose anger and dedication to non-parliamentary struggles and anti-institutional forms is expressed without limit.